TWU: Prop G illegal, so suspend federal $

May 24th, 2011

The Transport Workers Union has submitted a letter to the Department of Labor demanding that federal funding for SFMTA projects be suspended, based on the claim that Proposition G illegally requires an arbitrator to prioritize “the public interest in efficient and reliable transit.”

This is clearly a negotiating tactic, but it could lead the feds to suspend over $4 billion in capital funding for Central Subway and major maintenance projects.

Examiner: Prop G and disciplinary process for operators

May 18th, 2011

The Examiner reports that SFMTA management is negotiating with the TWU250A on how to fix the disciplinary process for operators. As it stands, operators who rack up too many citations in one particular area, such as accidents or drunk driving, are the only ones who are likely to get terminated. However, if an operator gets various citations in different kinds of violations, then the operator can slide under the radar and continue to drive.

One proposed cost-cutting measure is to eliminate leave-with-pay while the operator is under investigation. SFMTA consultant Charles Goodyear says that while the two sides have not agreed on a solution, talks are progressing well.

Two-way Haight Street community meeting TONIGHT

May 10th, 2011

Riders on the 6 and 71 know how slow the inbound Haight Street commute is now, thanks to the multi-block detour inbound to avoid the one-way section of Haight. Today, the SFMTA is holding a community meeting (at 6pm-7:30pm at Caffe Trieste, 1667 Market) to discuss an obvious fix: restore two-way traffic on Haight, and bring the inbound buses back to that street. Details here. This is a no-brainer for improved transit – please express your support if you attend the meeting!

One suggested improvement: make the intersection at Haight and Octavia no turns from Haight in either direction. This would eliminate conflicts between freeway traffic and the buses.

Meeting on Duboce/Church track improvements TONIGHT

May 5th, 2011

From Supervisor Scott Wiener’s Facebook page: “This Thursday, come learn about the track replacement and streetscaping project for the Duboce/Church area. This project will greatly improve the transit stops and sidewalks in the area and will enhance pedestrian safety. It covers Duboce Street from Noe to Church and Church Street from Duboce to Market. The meeting is 6-7:30 p.m. at Davies Medical Center, Gazebo Room.”

Please attend this meeting and learn more about this important project – and urge SFMTA to include traffic signals with pre-empts to speed LRVs through this very slow area!

“Fix Masonic” proposal at MTA 5/13/11

May 3rd, 2011

After years of community involvement, the SFMTA is about to review proposed changes to the street design for Masonic Avenue. This would create a boulevard-style street with zero parking, raised cycle tracks, and bus bulb-outs at major intersections, and also would reduce the current six and seven lanes of traffic to four from Geary all the way to Fell. (See pdf, beginning at page 41.)

This design looks beautiful in the slides, but as with the equally “beautiful” Octavia Boulevard, there are some major concerns. In particular, the reduction in street capacity is almost certain to cause congestion during peak hours, as is the case now with Octavia and Divisadero. Will this mean big delays for the 43-Masonic, which uses this corridor? The proposal does not include any discussion of the likely impact to traffic or transit speed, particularly at peak hours when ridership is highest and during the hours that left turns are allowed.

If you have thoughts about the proposal, please attend the hearing at City Hall, Room 416, on Friday, May 13, at 10 am. Unfortunately the SFMTA has again chosen to hold the meeting during regular business hours, when many commuters cannot attend – so you can also submit your comments to the project manager or the Board secretary.